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2nd Flr. Restaurant...Long Branch


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#1 E.L.A.

E.L.A.

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 07:19 PM

I was at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Saturday, and it was a magnificent day...absolutely beautiful...so much so I decided to have dinner "at the Jersey Shore" LOL. Anyway, I had been wanting to try this place for a while. Small, intimate, quaint, yes, upstairs, on the 2nd floor, LOL, and a very nice ambiance. 

As you enter the glass door from the street, you are confronted with a ceiling to floor curtain, and after you pull away the curtain...a staircase. That's it. LOL. It leads you upstairs and opens to the main area with a very nice , and about 4-5 tables up against the windows. This room has a nice, casual feel, but with a nice ambiance. Kind of casual, neat, and a hint of upscale, but very comfortable. I had a drink at the bar, and we were then shown to our table. There is one, intimate, almost private booth, which is very nice, and then after you walk past that, it opens to their small dining room, which had 5 tables that night. This room has more of an upscale, fine dining feel to it, but still comfortable. According to the restaurant, the goal for this room is to have the feel of a nice, NYC apartment, and you can kind of get that with the walls, decor, the covered remnant of a fireplace, and just the overall feel.

 

Service was attentive and professional. The appetizers were very good -- special note to the grilled octopus, which comes with a homemade chorizo. This can be ordered as an appetizer or as an entree. The lump crab case seemed to be very popular, however, I didn't have it. The cesar salad looked good, and they had two other salads which looked very nice -- a summer salad with melon, feta cheese, some fruit, a I think it was arugula or some light greens, the other was a traditional salad, although it had bibb lettuce, with goat cheese, pears and pecans. Not my kind of salad, but it looked appetizing enough, LOL.

 
For entrees -- we had the jumbo shrimp with a paella style risotto, baby peas, a sundried tomato butter and some other light topping sauce, with some nice, plump shrimp on top. The shrimp were good, and the risotto and whatever else they did had a lot of flavor and taste. We also had the hanger steak, which was a very nice piece of meat, done perfectly as ordered, with a smoked blue cheese mayo and a basil salsa. It was very good. This steak too had a lot of favor, good taste. It came with what they called double dipped crispy fries. Nice dish.
 
I liked the place. There's a few other places in the area I've been wanting to try and I spend a lot of time at the track, so having dinner in that area is common for me. Being that I have other places I want to try, I can't say that I will be rushing back, but I would certainly go back if friends said "Hey, let's go" -- sure, I'd go back, it was good. The comments I've heard is that it's "expensive" -- although that's a relative term. Take a look at the menu, see what you think. It's small, intimate, even a touch romantic if you sit in the booth or the dining room in the back. It's about a block and a half off the beach...and not too far from the track! LOL. Nice place, good food, nice ambiance.